The Golden One

XFL 2020 Logos and Names

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15 minutes ago, Heitert said:

It actually does. I was thinking that last night. On top of the "hidden" 'STL', if you cut off the top of the logo where the curved lines of the wings meet straight lines, there's an arch right there in the middle.

 

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This is a great find as well!

 

But then it begs the question... if this is all possible if the logo is upside down, why isn't that just what the logo looks like in the first place?

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23 minutes ago, Maroon said:

 

Going off the "funny how we can have such different opinions of logos" theme, it's funny because I love the AAF logos and identities... excepting the Hotshots. I liked their colors and loved the uniforms, but never could quite get on board with the logo. Atlanta's logo was tops for me even though I was rooting for Memphis.

 

Funny, because I thought Atlanta had the weakest logo package in the league. 

 

The whole Hotshots identity kinda struck me a little different, though. The whole identity is a tribute to the 19 firefighters that were killed in Yarnell, Arizona in 2013. I lived in Phoenix at the time and the way people came together over that tragedy was pretty much the one time I was actually proud to live in that state. I also grew up in one of the largest National Forests in the country in California and the town is HIGHLY susceptible to big fires. We lost damn near half the town during a fire in 2007. A lot of people I grew up with went on to fight fires for CalFire, and the way they've been protecting the residents of this state over the past few years with the enormous fires we've had is something I admire to the fullest extent. 

 

I don't really play into the whole "Thank you for your service" deal when it comes to military/police/first responders much for several different reasons. I make a bit of an exception for wildland firefighters, though. 

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Since it seems that the most generic nicknames are of the Defenders, Dragons, Battlehawks, and Wildcats, what nickname would have you given DC, Seattle, St. Louis, and Los Angeles?

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LA - Visually nice but I'm so thrown off by the random name and color scheme... we really need an official explanation for the logic here, why red and orange, why an animal that nobody associates with Los Angeles? Not every team needs to have a direct association with it's city (there aren't light blue Lions in Detroit) but to have something so seemingly random for a team that begins play in 2020 is just so off putting.

 

NY - I absolutely love it. I see a Batman Gotham vibe as well with the visuals and with the protecting the city theme. It's an amazing theme that signifies NY but that no one has ever bothered trying before. It's nearly perfect except that the logo comes off as either a lion or a bear, maybe a tweak there is worth a shot.

 

STL - Great logo and colors, the name is fine but I need to know if there is an actual St Louis connection here... it doesn't need it but it would be nice to know if it's there. And is it a bird theme or a military/fighter jet theme? Feels like it could be either but I want clarity.

 

TB - Excellent all around

 

HOU - If Roughnecks is a nickname for oil industry workers then I love it. I'm a little iffy on the big H though, I see it as an A and then with the red star at the top it feels like a rejected LA Angels logo. 

 

DAL - Not bad, not great. Middle of the road for me.

 

DC - No one else gets a Marvel Avengers vibe from this with the name and the colors? Yes it's based on the DC flag and the military but red/white Defenders is very similar to red/white Marvel logo and Avengers. That's not a bad thing, just an observation.

 

SEA - I think I like it but I think a dragon is such a cartoonish/kid-oriented creature that something doesn't click for me. They could very well have amazing logos, uniforms, and merchandise though because the design aspects are wonderful.

 

Overall I like that they played it safe. That would oftentimes be a knock but coming off the over the top nature of the original XFL I think playing it safer here is the right move. If they had gone with the wild team names then it would have given skeptics even more reason to believe this can't work... "see, it's just as bad as the last time!"

 

Lastly, as a big/knowledgeable long time wrestling fan I notice wrestling references in four of the team names but they're all very subtle and not hitting you over the head with them so that is great. To be honest they might just be coincidences on three of the four. 

 

Solid all around though.

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2 hours ago, Maroon said:

This is a great find as well!

 

But then it begs the question... if this is all possible if the logo is upside down, why isn't that just what the logo looks like in the first place?

I find myself wondering the same thing. The logo looks better upside down. I don't even think the 'STL' or the arch were intentionally thrown in there, because if they were, we'd be looking at a flipped logo right now. I wish the internet could garner up enough support to show the XFL that the logo looks better upside down and that there are some missed opportunities if not inverted.

 

Hell, even the helmet would look awesome if the point of the sword served as the front of the helmet stripe and the wings wrapped around to the sides. I'd love to see a mock-up of this. I may try it myself just for $#!+s and gigs.                        

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14 hours ago, mkg74 said:

Years ago I was arguing about cfl vs what ever league on the web with some guy from Canada. He had all these preposterous claims of and this is my all time favorite one ever. 😂😂😂

 

He claims: The 1984 Blue Bombers would’ve destroyed the 1984 49ers (

basically CFL vs NFL champs of that time). Never laughed harder in my life yet it had me thinking. Is the CFL really that good?  Uh. Nah! 

 

It would be kind of fun to see some NFL-CFL match ups. I really do wanna know. 

 

 

 

 

 

So? The best college team of all time would lose to the worst NFL team of all time. doesn't mean college football isn't great and have a loyal fanbase. Why is it a debate for you?

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Thinking the Renegades might adapt the Seahawks look and when I say that... I say black uniform with oiler blue accents.

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40 minutes ago, heavybassX said:

Aviators-3.jpg

Like this.

Not bad, keep easy on the red though one would say it could be a uniform ruiner if used too much.

 

One of my best case in points..look at 1984 LA Express vs 1985 LA 
Express uniforms. Most of the older USFL heads will know exactly what im talking about

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4 hours ago, nuordr said:

I did a survey to see what people thought of the new logos and out of 128 responses, the people liked the Houston Roughnecks logo the most. 

 

The social scientist in me wants to scream right now.

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4 hours ago, nuordr said:

I did a survey to see what people thought of the new logos and out of 128 responses, the people liked the Houston Roughnecks logo the most.

Ugh, that logo is so wonky and has so many faults.

  • The perspective is off--the logo looks like it's trying to be 3-D at the bottom but the top is completely flat.
  • Speaking of the top, the part where the derrick meets the star just abruptly stops, making it look awkward.
  • The red H is outlined in white, yet the red star is not.
  • The outline on the H is too thin when compared to the rest of the lines on the logo, not to mention that the H simply existing within the logo skews the line weights of the derrick's frame and poles. 

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And try to convince me that the bottom half of the logo, just under the crossbar of the H, doesn't look like the face of an angry, block-headed, mustachioed man.  

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2 hours ago, Heitert said:

I wish the internet could garner up enough support to show the XFL that the logo looks better upside down and that there are some missed opportunities if not inverted.

I say this as a wrestling fan. 

Vince isn't listening to a contingent of people from the internet. 

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26 minutes ago, Heitert said:

Ugh, that logo is so wonky and has so many faults.

  • The perspective is off--the logo looks like it's trying to be 3-D at the bottom but the top is completely flat.
  • Speaking of the top, the part where the derrick meets the star just abruptly stops, making it look awkward.
  • The red H is outlined in white, yet the red star is not.
  • The outline on the H is too thin when compared to the rest of the lines on the logo, not to mention that the H simply existing within the logo skews the line weights of the derrick's frame and poles. 

spacer.png

And try to convince me that the bottom half of the logo, just under the crossbar of the H, doesn't look like the face of an angry, block-headed, mustachioed man.  

I agree....but I feel like people want the Houston Oilers logo back so bad that they will accept anything similar to it.

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My 2¢ (after killing an abundance of time on a trans-Pacific flight):

Dallas Renegades: This is a solidly-rendered logo (though that renegade has awfully big eyes) that might impress me more if the majority of sports franchises in the Dallas area weren't already leaning so heavily into the "Old West" theme for their identities. Although the sizzle reel unveiling the Renegades' identity goes to great pains to link the "spirit and swagger" of 19th century Dallas cattle hands to 21st century hell-raisers via images of tattoos, graffiti tags, smoking tires, pool halls, and motorcycles, the end result is a logo that's comfortable settling into the visual trope of a masked Texas outlaw. If the XFL truly wanted to break the mold and embrace the modern renegade definition, it would have been interesting to see biker imagery married to that of the Old West in this team's logo. Instead of having the Renegade's demonic eyes glaring out from under a cowboy hat, have them peering from beneath a motorcycle helmet... and out over the stylized horns and skull of a Texas longhorn, the former taking the place of handlebars and the latter positioned as though leading down to a motorcycle's twin forks. Over the top? Quite possibly... particularly if not executed properly. Still, I'd rather something like that then a logo that seems derivative of what's already existed in the Dallas sports marketplace (you could be forgiven for mistaking the Renegades' mark for a modern updating of the old Dallas Desperados logo). Now, if the Renegades were content to go the tried-and-true "Old West" route, then I'd have rather seen them adopt a brand identity similar to what Dane Storrusten of Gridiron Labs designed for the Dallas Wranglers of the A11FL, or Texas Outlaws of the FXFL. Visually play up accoutrements of the cattle trade - brands, branding irons, barbed wire, rope - or cattle itself, rather than just cowboy hats, bandanas, lawmen's badges, and six-shooters that are more often the symbols utilized.

DC Defenders:  

Houston Roughnecks: I love the name. I felt it was the direction in which Houston's NFL expansion team should have gone, rather than the generic Texans moniker. It is clearly the new XFL identity that most directly ties to not only the market of the team it graces, but the former pro football history of said city, as well. The logo? It has its issues. The line weights are all over the place. Ditto for the perspective. The 'H' superimposed on the derrick threatens to be too cute for its own good. The logo wouldn't suffer if the star was to be removed. Finally, it's the new XFL mark that is the most likely to be negatively impacted when reduced in size. That said, it's amazing how much I'm willing to forgive in all of those areas simply because I give full credit to the XFL brass for thumbing their noses at the NFL and challenging the more established league to make something of the fact that Houston's XFL team is clearly trying to resurrect the brand history of the Houston Oilers. That's a pretty ballsy move. Frankly, it wouldn't shock me if the NFL were to up and slap a lawsuit on the Roughnecks yet. To that point, it's clear that the reason the Roughnecks aren't sporting a lighter shade of blue with their red and white is because the XFL brass concluded - rightly so, I believe - that such a color scheme in combination with their logo would have absolutely drawn legal action from the NFL.

Los Angeles Wildcats: For starters, the team's name is not only exceedingly generic, it's also inaccurate. That species of cat that appears in the Los Angeles Wildcats' sizzle reel? Well, while it may be a wild cat, it isn't a wildcat. Felis silvestris is the European wildcat. Felis lybica is the African wildcat. Here in North America, you can even get away with slapping the wildcat label on Lynx rufus (American bobcat) and Lynx canadensis (Canada lynx). That said, the species featured in the Wildcats' sizzle reel is Puma concolor, better known as a catamount, cougar, mountain lion, panther, or puma. As for the logo and color scheme, the 'LA' monogram is tremendously well-rendered and the orange-and-red palette calls to mind a Southern California sunset. It seems clear that the XFL brass see this mark as being an attempt to replicate the classic, straightforward simplicity of such letter-based primary marks as those sported by the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. However, where each of those NFL team logos benefits from having been initially adopted in a simpler age and afforded the opportunity to build brand equity over more than 50 years, the Wildcats' logo is facing the formidable task of fighting for relevance and establishing a lasting foothold amongst a vast sea of brands almost immediately... and in a Greater Los Angeles market that enjoys no shortage of entertainment options, including a surfeit of pro sports franchises and major college athletic programs. I fear that for a team promising "showtime with a snarl", the Wildcats identity is too tame to deliver either. To my mind, the XFL's Los Angeles-based franchise would have been better served by the winged-sword logo unveiled in St. Louis.  Paired with a name like the Los Angeles Guardians, Los Angeles Avengers, or Los Angeles Archangels it would have been a dynamic fit for a team representing the 'City of Angels'.

New York Guardians: The New York Guardians sport a mark that is very well-rendered, but too polished to most effectively convey the theme its trying to capture. The Guardians' sizzle reel speaks of "sentries"and "watchdogs"... a "predator" and a "beast". I want less of the former pair from this team's logo and more of the latter pair. After all, the video also states that the team's namesake sculptures "know fear because they feed off of it". I think that theme of feeding off of fear needs to be leaned into more. With New York's gargoyles and grotesques serving as the inspiration for the brand identity of the XFL team representing the city, I want to see the primary logo centered around a more frighteningly-twisted, demonic figure, rather than simply an angry animal. As currently depicted, the Guardians' logo could just as readily serve as the primary mark for a team called the Lions. To my mind, that's not what a gargoyle/grotesque-themed team identity should be shooting for. If I were using the sculptures in the Guardians' sizzle reel as my starting point, I'd be taking inspiration from the first, fourth, and eighth carvings pictured therein. I might even look back to the original XFL's San Francisco Demons for some visual cues. That said, instead of designing a mark that resembled the tattoo art of the Demons' logo, a gargoyle/grotesque-themed logo should be rendered to look as though the demonic creature it's depicting was carved from stone. In my opinion, the ideal gargoyle/grotesque-themed logo should depict chips, scratches, pitting, and other imperfections in the centerpiece subject, as opposed to the smooth and unblemished figure shown in the New York Guardians' mark. The ultimate goal should be to render a team totem that is a fear-inducing creature of living stone. In this context, even the name Guardians seems a bit staid. I might opt for New York Beasts, New York Gargoyles, or New York Demons. 

St. Louis BattleHawks: So, let's address the worst part of this identity package right off the bat. The name is abysmal. Yes, I know that the BattleHawks' sizzle reel revolves around the theme of "winged warriors, preparing for flight".  I've come to understand that Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation once trademarked the 'Battlehawk' name to refer to a UH-60M helicopter outfitted with a full weapons kit. Yadda, yada, yada. BattleHawks is a ham-handed mash-up of a name that sounds absolutely preposterous. I can't even fathom a reason to try and play the devil's advocate long enough to attempt to defend it. Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's turn to the logo. Frankly, I like it. It looks like the sort of insignia that one might find being used by a military unit, a religious order, or a fraternal organization. I actually think that it could work quite well as the logo for a sports franchise, provided that it's paired with the right team name, in the right market. It lends itself to the idea of a powerful angel, or a host of them - to archangels, avenging angels, or guardian angels. As I mentioned in my breakdown of the Los Angeles Wildcats' branding package, I think this logo would work quite well for a team in LA, the 'City of Angels'. Pair it with a name like the Los Angeles Guardians, Los Angeles Avengers, or Los Angeles Archangels and you'd have a dynamite identity. I suppose it could work in St. Louis, as well. After all, the city's namesake - King Louis IX - was canonized. Would it work better with the sword flipped, so that its point was resting between the wings? Positioned in that manner, the sword would better reflect the way it is held by King Louis IX in the Apotheosis of St. Louis statue in Forest Park. If one were to go to that trouble, should the cross-guard of the sword in the logo be altered to depict the slight S-curve of the cross-guard of King Louis IX's sword in the aforementioned statue? After tweaking the logo, what would the team be named in St. Louis? I mean, Louis IX's canonization made him a Saint, so would the team be dubbed the St. Louis Saints? Or, would St. Louis Angels be better? St. Louis Guardians? Would it just be simpler for the XFL's first official trade to be an exchange of the BattleHawks' logo for the Wildcats' name? The dust clears with the result being the Los Angeles Guardians and St. Louis Wildcats taking the field? You know what?  Let's leave it at this... a solid logo (though better suited to another market) and a lousy name add up to a decidedly mixed brand identity in St. Louis.

Seattle Dragons: When the news broke that Alpha Entertainment had registered five potential names for the Seattle-based XFL franchise with the USPTO, the one that resonated most strongly with me was Dragons. To be sure, the other four candidates - Force, Fury, Surge, and Wild - weren't particularly great names. Still, my affinity to the Dragons name was driven by more than just what I considered to be the shortcomings of the other possibilities. Though I'd never remotely given thought to Dragons as the possible name for a Seattle sports franchise up to that point in time, its potential to support a dynamic brand immediately became apparent to me. Now that the name has officially been unveiled, along with primary and word marks, I have to say that the Seattle Dragons are a pretty sharp looking outfit. The colors are the key to me. The palette of dark green, light green, blue, and orange balances ties to Seattle's historic sports design aesthetic, while simultaneously carving out space for itself. The greens and blue fit in nicely with the design traditions of teams like the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Thunderbirds, Sonics, and Storm, while the orange is something that the Dragons can call their own. I'll be very interested to see what the color distribution is on the team's uniforms, as that will go a long way towards determining how successful the team's visual brand identity happens to be. As for the logo, I can certainly understand the impetus for critiques that say it bears a resemblance to the dragon in UAB's athletics identity package, or that it wouldn't be out of place in a Madden Create-A-Team suite. That said, I feel that the Seattle Dragons' mark manages to carve out its own space. Personally, I think that the UAB mark is - to its detriment - a bit more fussily-detailed than the Seattle Dragon. As for the comparison to the Madden logos, I don't find the Dragons logo to be that egregiously generic.

Tampa Bay Vipers: Meh. This, to my mind, is the most underwhelming visual identity in the XFL. That's disappointing, because Vipers is a name that's more than capable of inspiring a dynamic identity package. I'll give credit to the XFL brass for thinking outside the box and opting to turn away from the more stereotypical source of inspiration for a sports team identity in the Tampa area - the region's namesake body of water and the Gulf of Mexico - and, instead, looking to the wetlands and forests of its interior. That said, the logos are lackluster. The simple letterform 'V' that was unveiled as the primary is, at best, a serviceable secondary. As for the snake-head secondary mark that appears elsewhere on the Vipers' section of the XFL website... well, frankly speaking, I've seen far better. Also problematic is the Vipers' color scheme. Personally, I'd have gone with something bolder by leaning into a vibrant neon lime (think of the Seattle Seahawks' 'Action Green', or the Orlando Thunder's 'Fluorescent Lime Green') as the Vipers' primary color, with a deep green as its secondary hue, and both white and metallic copper as tertiary colors. As is, the Vipers' visual identity strikes me as a missed opportunity.    
                                  

 

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32 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:


Houston Roughnecks: I love the name. I felt it was the direction in which Houston's NFL expansion team should have gone, rather than the generic Texans moniker.

 

I'm a guy who loves the Texans' identity and the '99-'17 Titans' look, so that's a big no from me. 

 

32 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

It is clearly the new XFL identity that most directly ties to not only the market of the team it graces, but the former pro football history of said city, as well. The logo? It has its issues. The line weights are all over the place. Ditto for the perspective. The 'H' superimposed on the derrick threatens to be too cute for its own good. The logo wouldn't suffer if the star was to be removed. Finally, it's the new XFL mark that is the most likely to be negatively impacted when reduced in size.

 

That's all true, even though it feels like the logo is the equivalent of this (Oilers on top, Roughnecks on bottom):

 

JJ9L_svhTMIZAp5FiSgO5q8r4zjEapeccfJtsm5M1WTuo-oBwdFHFy2O0IwlLUqc4BpBtTLzxYU65tiT7-qrVczEItSlpEUSZN6EeLgvrdSrFhPYhPjwEc3wkvbFEp9XicUVIUmRCFHxcwR2KEXu-C62MXBmm2hF23r60yJ_P7ru5wyFgqGnJG5lqvB34Vq1nigLmLXI3i7lNQCQxJ0YZdASmM-6AN2O1Uj2qwbv89KQafKp57o1gYF563N7NCEOUmZ2haeDZgjMwNbTGhokQMqgYDuRpO9VqLh883YFOoql2MfLw4n_KtMdttB9hBfcSlal5U95kvPeb5FOVoHQjXejjSR7VliJ8RfAqU-FevDyZPb_NyYt0OtlAZw76HLLZM76h-OPfKF86ttJ1Z1HepK4GrNS6zcqXxhT1O1kHhiOHblCOKfZnG8MZI-DkDhiWfUWqQ_rX9ILO7t0B3b0-j4SxNYKwEdUBkYPq6oHxX-sC_hm4MXiycULcE5NqjE0pJ2YkoS92uMU8_5QGXIci7Q_qDdidyYWFfKXqLlt2Ifhbf7X0d6_S_oP0whzhBA9VkV8wS9-GA95c115mQekE3bCmU1_1YKx4gIXV3FVwFnFi__1QTewb9cetGKLjI7QUUEpbKxS1_P-580cjzwAhiC09o54lUgpxmX92fQOIPDT1TcIJLSWXXblbPGks61a-EUDDdGKqvL9h4ByRHjq4bw=w764-h657-no

 

It's adding a bunch of unnecessary stuff to an image to make it look "new" and "inventive," or in the case of the XFL, avoid the NFL's legal team. The original Oilers' design looked dull, while this just shoehorns in a bunch of unneeded crap that messes up the whole piece.

 

32 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

That said, it's amazing how much I'm willing to forgive in all of those areas simply because I give full credit to the XFL brass for thumbing their noses at the NFL and challenging the more established league to make something of the fact that Houston's XFL team is clearly trying to resurrect the brand history of the Houston Oilers. That's a pretty ballsy move. Frankly, it wouldn't shock me if the NFL were to up and slap a lawsuit on the Roughnecks yet. To that point, it's clear that the reason the Roughnecks aren't sporting a lighter shade of blue with their red and white is because the XFL brass concluded - rightly so, I believe - that such a color scheme in combination with their logo would have absolutely drawn legal action from the NFL.
 

 

I'm willing to forgive none of it. It strikes me as playing it safe, retreading an old, undeservedly beloved identity instead of innovating and creating a fresh IP. It's the same school of thought that gave us the LA Wildcats, the Dallas "insert repainted UNLV or Texas Tech concept here" Renegades, and the Seattle Dragons' logo (I like the name and idea behind it). We complain about WWE not being able to really develop new stars. Those same complaints apply here with their XFL identity developments.

 

For all the goofiness of the first XFL, they certainly didn't play it safe with names. I appreciate that a little bit more than aping existing IP's. 

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